Schrum gets 91 votes, nomination to school board

May 05, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer

Nancy McCauley Schrum, a Pasadena resident and mother of three, was nominated last night to fill an open, at-large seat on the Anne Arundel County school board.

Mrs. Schrum beat out three other candidates in garnering 91 of the 162 votes cast at Severna Park High School.

Her nearest challenger, who becomes the alternate selection of the School Board Nominating Convention, was R. Allen Honaker, a Severn resident, who received 51 votes. Mark R. McKechnie got 12 votes, and John J. Loughlin II eight.

Mrs. Schrum's and Mr. Honaker's names now go to County Executive Robert R. Neall, who will make a recommendation to Gov. William Donald Schaefer. Neither Mr. Neall nor the governor are bound by last night's voting.

But Mrs. Schrum, in an interview after the voting, said, "I am confident they will abide by the convention process."

During her campaign for the nomination, Mrs. Schrum stressed that the school system should keep parents better informed on what's going on in the schools.

Olga Fristbrook, representing the Bodkin Elementary PTA, told delegates last night that Mrs. Schrum "rose from concerned parent to a community leader who challenged the status quo."

As president of a local PTA, Mrs. Schrum led a campaign to get new computers for Bodkin Elementary, which two of her daughters attended, and developed a network among PTA and PTO organizations in schools that feed into Chesapeake High School.

She has urged the school system to treat parents as customers and school board members to be more accessible to parents and to sponsor public forums.

Last night, Mrs. Schrum listed several goals she would seek if she gets a seat on the board. The goals included instituting "shared decision-making," which she said would "empower our teachers and parents. This process gives us the sense of ownership we deserve."

All of the candidates talked about the problems in the school system, including buildings in disrepair and an allegation that the school board is out of touch with parents.

The delegates' alternate choice, Mr. Honaker, said the school board faces "tough decisions" that "could either move us forward or maintain the status quo." The status quo, he said, "would leave us floundering in despair and hopelessness once again."

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